tv The Last Word MSNBC November 2, 2011 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT
who y. he is among the writers on occupy wall street. he has written a brilliant piece. that's all ahead. we hope you'll join us for both of those shows. "the last word with law rns o'donnell" starts right now. herman cain reveals the source of the sexual harassment storey. you'll never guess. it's herman cain. >> this happened 12 years ago. >> rick perry and his campaign owe an apology. >> bring it. >> herman cain suddenly remembers that he used to rent sexual harassment charges and he used to tell people about them. mr. xan die eventualthed the nra claims at that time to his general consultant. >> he's an anonymous source if he told anderson himself. >> he's recalling he had a
conversation specifically telling some guy about it several years agoment. >> you, yourself briefed your campaign aide. >> didn't intent to contradict myself. >> if that's the case, he just unmasked the amonday mus source himself. >> herman cain also remembers this -- >> i do recall that her pore formance was not up to par. i wasn't even aware of it. i am unaware. i was aware that an agreement was reached. yes, that was some sort of set settlement. i just found out about this today. what i can now remember and what i couldn't remember. that's what people like about him. because he -- >> republicans are worried about herman cain but democrats are worried about mitt romney. >> we can't have any surprises with our candidate.
>> there are a lot of reasons to elect me. this is not a pretty picture, is it? >> mystery solved. herman cain style. herman cain has figured out who leaked the cain sexual harassment story. cain laid it out to a friendly reporter at "forbes" magazine. the reporter was the author of this article last week -- "why herman cain has the potential to win." the story of intrigue and betrayal that cain told forbes began when herman cain is running for the united states senate in georgia. in the summer of 2003, cain recalls briefing anderson that sexual harassment claims were brought against him while he was chairman of the national restaurant association from 1996
to 1999. i told my wife about this in 1999 and i've got nothing to hide cain told me wednesday. when i sat down with my general campaign consultant kurt anderson in a private room in our campaign offices in 2003, we discussed opposition research on me. i told him that there was only one case, one set of charges, one woman, while i was at the national restaurant association. i don't recall anyone else being in the room when i told him." only one woman. talk about making a campaign consultant's day. only one woman. when's the last time kurt anderson had a candidate with only one woman that he had to keep in the closet? surely it couldn't be that one woman that motivated curt anderson to work for the perry presidential campaign this season instead of the cain
campaign. herman "sherlock" cain is certain they leaked the sexual harassment story to owe p"polit" i've known herman cain for seven years. i was one of several consultants on his senate race in 2004 and was proud to help him. i'd never heard any of these allegations until i read them in politco nor does anything i read in the press change my opinion that herman cain is an upstanding man and a gentleman. i have great respect for herman cain and his character and i would never speak ill of him on the record or off the record. that's true today and it's not going to change." how classy is that? herman cain, accuses curt anderson of being a snake in the grass, a back stabber, a leaker, about that one woman and curt
anderson responds with such an elegant declaration that herman cain is a liar, that people like herman cain and his followers won't even notice that curt anderson just called cain a liar. cain says he told curt anderson about the accusations and curt anderson says no, he didn't. and then curt anderson throws in my favorite sentence of this presidential campaign. i have great respect for herman and his character and i would never speak ill of him. i would never speak ill of him right now except right now when i'm calling him a liar. herman cain never had to spin a scandal to the washington press corps before. so don't be surprised if he forgets a lot of what he said from one interview to the next. and don't start feeling like super sleuth just because you can remember way back to, you know, yesterday when herman cain was saying he hadn't thought
about this in 12 years. all he's saying now is he hadn't thought about it in eight years. big deal. 1 years, eight years, what's the difference? but we know for sure herman cain and his mastermind campaign strategist, you know this guy -- ♪ i am america one voice ♪ >> yeah, that's the guy. you know, that every day of the last 12 days of herman cain and mark's excellent adventure is spent thinking about those sexual harassment charges every waking minute because "politico" asked them about it 12 days ago. and what you've seen from monday morning until now is the cain story changing by the hour. ten days of scheming with his campaign mastermind is not enough to prepare herman cain for what was to come. cain and his camera hungry
campaign genius are tired of talking about charges and confidence shlt agreements. >> the actions of the perry campaign are despicable. rick perry and his campaign owe herman cain and his family an apology. both rick perry campaign and "politico" did the wrong thing by reporting something that wasn't true from anonymous sources. >> herman and mark don't only have a curt anderson problem, they also have a chris wilson problem. chris wilson does remember something about herman cain and sexual harassment. the sexual harassment that he witnessed with his own eyes. >> i was the pollster for the
national restaurant association when herman cain was the head of it. i'll tell you, i was actually around a couple times whether this happened and anyone who was involved with the restaurant association at the time knew that this was going to come up. at the time she was a very lower level staffer. i think she was maybe two years out of college and this all occurred at a restaurant in crystal city. everybody was very aware of it. and so it is -- it was only a matter of time because so many people were aware of what took place. so many people were aware of her situation and the fact that she left after this. if she does go on the air and talk about it, i think it will be the end of his campaign. >> chris wilson later told us that the actions made others present uneasy. it was very uncomfortable recalling that other staffers asked cain to stop. conservative radio talk show host steve deese told "politico" that cain said inappropriate
things to staff at his radio station. like awkward inappropriate things he said to two females on my staff. that the fact that the guys wife is never around. the associated press reports that a third unidentified female employee for the national restaurant association considered filing though never filed a complaint against herman cain for what she considered aggressive and unwanted behavior including a private invitation to his corporate apartment. nbc news has not confirmed that ap story. cain has been making the rounds of friendly fox news interviews. but has much less to say when confronted by real reports. >> let me say one thing, i'm here with these doctors and that's what i'm going to talk about. so don't even bother asking me all of these other questions that you all are curious about. okay? don't even bother. i'm concerned about the fact
that these women do -- >> what did i say? >> are you concerned? >> excuse me? excuse me? what part of no don't these bums understand? >> what part of no don't some people understand? maybe the part that means no i don't want you to sexually harass me in the office right now. herman cain met georgia house republicans today at the capital. cain said he and his campaign had found out who was purportedly leaking word of his behavior toward female employees at the national restaurant association and that a report was coming out that would disprove the charges. according to the chief of staff, to one of the georgia members. joining me now political analyst and author of "revival: the struggle for survival inside the obama white house," richard wolf and also author of "who's afraid
of post blackness." >> thanks, lawrence. >> so there is a report coming out. the cain campaign -- i have this funny feeling that this report is going to come out at exactly the same time that donald trump's important report from his investigators in hawaii comes out. should we be holding our breath for the report from the cain campaign? >> i would not be holding our breath. we don't see them dealing with this in a forthright way as all. it's not even a professional way to deal with it as a politician. but this is a major moment for the gop. cain is a really important candidate. perhaps more important than any of the other candidates. he serves a massive psychological purpose. because there's a lot of people in the gop who have been critical of obama and made to feel that they are racists because of their criticism. some of it is racist and some is reasonable and some is business as usual. cain comes along offering salvation, liberation. you're not racist if you support
herman cain. so now they have this herman cain card that they can throw at us any time they are made to feel racist. so this is like a beautiful thing for them. so they need him to succeed as long as they can deal with him so that they can get their cain card and make it as valuable as possible. but, of course this whole transaction is a canard. >> in what way? >> cain is giving comfort to racism the way he purports himself as we discussed before on this show. this is not the person can you hold up as well see, i'm not a racist, i love herman cain. >> richard, how long can cain keep this going? >> oh, he can sustain his misery for very long time if he carries on like this. the interesting thing here is that people talk about vetting, you know,ed idea that candidates need to be vetted. the vetting in this question in this whole process is not actually whether you have the skeletons in the closet or that employee you harassed out of a job. the vetting is how do you deal with the pressure?
you know, are you up to it? are you -- can you deal with a fluid situation where your advisors are over here and the press is over there? because that in some way simulates the ridiculousness of being in the oval office. and clearly this man failed. he failed badly. as you pointed out, he had 12 days to prepare it. he hasn't got his story straight. he failed vetting not only because he has this dirty secret he's trying to hide, but actually because he's not up to doing anything but the marketing slogan of 9-9-9. >> you said that there is going to be a report coming out that will prove all this stuff is fake. he also said that we're going to be meeting his wife soon, presumably through some friendly interview venue at fox news. let's listen to what herman cain said on "meet the press" about his wife. >> let me tell you why you haven't seen my wife. i'm running a different campaign. my wife and i, we have a family life. and she is maintaining the calmness and tranquility of that
family life so when i do get a day off at the campaign trail, i can go home and enjoy my family. secondly, i don't want to subject my wife and my family to the rigors and attacks and criticism of this campaign at this point. >> how much should cain really fight this? he's not going to be president. he's not going to get the nomination. he's not going to be on anyone's vice-presidential slot. there is nothing at stake here other than preserving his marketability as a motivational speaker and whatever deal he can get from fox news at the end of the trail. how long should he drag this out? should he pull his wife up in front of the cameras to defend him? >> i think you do. i think that you try to stretch it out as lock as you can. as you said, it's not a real campaign. it's about selling books, raising the prices of motivational speaker, seeing what can you get out of media like fox news. you're allowed to be a free swinger. it doesn't really matter what is coming at you. it just can i -- how long can i
stay on this stage as a potentially or us asentencebly viable candidate? keep going. >> richard, as sarah palin can tell him, losing candidates have to prepare themselves for whatever industry they're going to find themselves in after the campaign. isn't he on the verge of doing enough damage to himself that he really won't have much marketability after this? >> no. sarah palin monday owe tiesed her brief moment in the spotlight pretty well. you know, you're right. it's not a real campaign. so maybe none of this stuff matters especially when unemployment is where it is. and the world is facing so many serious challenges. he says something real about the republican party right now. that to me is the most interesting. i don't care if he flails around for a week or month or whatever it is, herman cain stumbled on two real truths about the republican party. number one that, comment he made
about abortion. live and let live. really that's where the libertarian side of the tea party is. if he wants to go out and play around in his private life, that's up to him. of course, for social conservatives, he is also appealing to, that doesn't work. he is right there at that split between libertarians and social conservatives. the other thing is he proved that with a flat tax idea, no matter how cookie the idea is when steve forbes came up with it, the republican party is very different today. what was a losing strategy could take you at least half way to the nomination. so herman cain himself may not be credible. what he says about the republican party is incredible. >> one of the women said she doesn't want to make public appearances but what they are now negotiating is the possibility of her releasing a statement. they want to negotiate that with the national restaurant association to either see if it fits within the confidentiality
agreement or get a waiver from the agreement. it all now is up to the confidentiality agreements which herman cain seems to be relying on to get it through this. every reporter is asking him when they get close to him, will you waive the agreement? he won't say that he will. >> he's not willing to put all huz cards on the table. the other thing i notice here is if this comes actually as it seems to from the rick perry campaign, then it's not the high-tech lynching that republicans were screaming that it was. it's not the democrats attacking him. it's coming from his own party. >> richard wolf and toure, thank you for joining me for this update on the herman cain troubles. >> thank you very much. coming up, i have a message for the women who might want to tell their side of the story about herman cain. it's okay. you can do that. i'll explain exactly how can you do that next. don't worry about the confidentiality agreements. and they believe the fight for
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everybody knows who's real dwroi blame for this controversy. >> amonday us in ladianonymous stirred up the false claims. >> yes, the ladies are the real harassers. hiding behind their anonymity. if you don't talk, clearly, you're lying. but cain is allowed to speak, therefore, he is telling the truth. it's a classic case of he said she's legally prohibited from saying.
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confidentiality agreements. he forced members of his staff to sign these agreements. something unheard of in political campaign. why does he make them do that? and his confidentiality agreements are saving herman cain tonight from a public confrontation with the women who have accused him of sexual harassment. as a lawyer for one of the women told "the washington post" yesterday, if we didn't have a written settlement agreement that says confidential and no disparagement, i think she would be very comfortable coming forward. feeling completely protected by the confidentiality agreements taunted the women tonight on fox news. >> mr. cain has never committed any sexual harassment, period, end of story. i would challenge anybody that has these statements to be made to come forward with the person making the statements. face mr. cain.
>> and so you have been challenged. you women who have accused herman cain of sexual harassment. i know you and your lawyers fear what would happen to you if you did come forward, if you violated your confidentiality agreements. i am here to tell you that absolutely nothing would happen. the advice your lawyers are giving you is legal advice offered within the confines of a legal matter. now you need political advise because this is in fact not a legal matter anymore. this is a political matter. your lawyers have told you that if you violate your confidentiality agreements the national restaurant association, a washington lobbying group, can sue you for doing that. they can drag knew court. they can get their settlement money back from you and possibly get more money from you in damages and legal fees. i am here to tell you that that
can never and will never happen. and i am telling you that as a political fact. that is the political reality you and the restaurant association are facing. the national restaurant association spends its day lobbying congress against increasing in the minimum wage among other legislative interests that restaurant and hotel business has. the national restaurant association knows that they would pay an extreme and immediate political price for suing you for telling the truth about what happens in the washington headquarters of the national restaurant association. they know that if they sue you, they will not be allowed to set foot in at least half of the offices in the united states senate and a couple of hundred offices in the house of
representatives. they know practical politics and representing the interests of their members means they absolutely cannot afford to sue you. they also know their legal prospect of success with a washington, d.c. jury are close to zero. you women have nothing to fear anymore in herman cain, nothing. you women have nothing to fear anymore in the national restaurant association. you swrim nothing to fear in those confidentiality agreements. they are just pieces of paper. i know stepping in front of a microphone in a situation like this is something that some women, maybe most women for very good reason simply cannot bring themselves to do. indeed that, would probably be my personal advice to any friend of mine in this situation. the lawyer for one of the women tonight said "she doesn't want
to become another anita hill." but if any of the others of you want to speak, if you simply cannot bear herman cain and his spokesman calling you women liars, then i personally promise you that if you do come forward be it on this program or any other program or in a general news conference and tell the truth, i will provide you all of the funding you might need for a legal defense fund to fight and beat the national restaurant association and herman cain at their confidentiality game. here's what herman cain said yesterday about waiving the confidentiality agreements. >> if the restaurant association waives that, i just found out about this today, there are legal implications associated with that that i'm not totally familiar w i can't give you a
definitive answer on that until we consult wour legal attorneys and also talk to, you know, some others. we can't answer that right now. it's too soon. >> it's not too soon, mr. cain. the time is up on your confidentiality agreements. joining me now is lisa bloom, attorney and founder of the bloom firm. thanks very much for joining me tonight, lisa. >> thanks, lawrence. >> lisa, this is political reality. this is a lobbying group. as you know, people think that -- you know if, there was a government entity involved if, there was, you know, you with r. going to go against a district attorney or attorney general or something, that's a whole different situation. this is a private legal matter. it is entirely up to the restaurant association to decide what to do if one of these women violates the confidentiality agreement and i see absolutely no possibility of the restaurant
association taking action. >> well, let me just say in my 25 years as an attorney i represented many, many sexual harassment viction victims. the agreements are different never case. i've negotiated many of them. sometimes there's a liquidated damages clause which means not only would the women give back the $35,000 that we heard reported, the one-year salary she got, but maybe in addition maybe $50,000 penalty. she may also have to pay attorneys fees for the national restaurant association and go to arbitration which would also be confidential. so there are a host of expenses she could be looking at. i take what you say as a political matter, maybe they would never do it. but as a legal matter, she would be in j some jeopardy. >> this is pure politics. i'm hereby guaranteeing any and every one of them that i will
personally guarantee any legal fee, any penalty fee that they might in any way be liable to in this process. >> right. >> i do that both with the full knowledge that i am absolutely willing to pay it. i consider this an oral contract as of this moment. but also i have the knowledge that it will never, ever, ever come to that. >> i love that. if i were representing the women, i would draw up an agreement and you would not only pay the expenses she would have to pay but her future legal expenses and provide for her security. as tough as it is i want more anita hills to come out, as much as i want these women to speak, the brutal reality having represented a lot of people is it's unimaginable for the rest of us what they go through, not only the crush of the immediate yashgs the very greasive producers banging on their doors day and night, going to their mother, their cousin, first grade teacher trying to dig up dirt on them. it is a very difficult and
painful process. you have to be a very strong person to do it. i think we all as citizens have an obligation to be strong, to be the rosa parks, to be at neata hill to come forward and talk about things that are difficult. but it's a lot to ask of ordinary people. >> it really is. and i appreciate cost aside, i appreciate the choice that some will make. one has already declared she made to stay private about this. i can completely understand and respect. that i just want to say to them that if these are the issues that they're worried about, i will absolutely guarantee their safety from those issues. lisa bloom, thank you very, very much for joining us tonight. >> thanks, lawrence. still ahead tonight, first they wanted to see the president's birth certificate. now they want to see the president's grades. why don't they want to see anyone else's grades? that's in the rewrite. and at this hour, occupy oakland protesters have shult down operations at the port of oakland. we'll go to oakland coming up. ♪ ♪ walk, little walk ♪ ♪ small talk, big thoughts, gonna tell them all ♪
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>> president obama will likely not be re-elected in 2012. that is the headline in "the wall street journal" piece today from karl rove. >> he's not going to be ail to win re-election. >> he has real problems. >> gop front-runner mitt romney has the best chance. >> are you a member of the tea party? >> i'm for the tea party. i believe in a lot of what the tea party believes in. >> governor romney, you're campaigning as the man that can fix the economy. let's look at your record, sir. you bout two international plants, 2,000 workers were laid off. >> corporations are people. >> no, they're not. >> of course they are. everything corporations earn ultimately goes to the people. >> up there on wall street is romney. >> don't try to stop the foreclosure process. let it hit the bottom. let detroit go bankrupt. bankrupt. >> whether you were governor,
massachusetts was 47th in job growth. >> i would have favored justices like scalia and thomas. invest in things like our stock market, the world stock market. >> a lot of reasons not to elect me. it's not a very pretty picture, is it? >> joining me now is msnbc prbtor and writer for "the washington post." what the -- what the -- >> what? >> this is obviously an attempt to soften up mitt romney in a potential general election because the polls show him running stronger against president obama than any other republican. but aren't -- the democrats here on this super pact that trying to actually defeat romney in the
republican primary so that they can get a weaker opponent than the general election? >> i mean that could be part of it. look, i think that the folks that the pact priorities usa, they view mitt romney as the eventual nominee of the republican party. as you said, they are looking to soften him up. if it turns out that herman cain actually becomes the nominee or governor rick perry or anyone else, they are priorities usa is very willing andible to pivot on a dime and basically use that same template that they used to clobber mitt romney to clobber anyone else who could possibly become the republican nominee. and it's also because, look, when you have an incumbent president with unemployment at, above 9%, with an economy still in the toilet with uncertainty about what's going to happen in europe and its economic future, with the uncertainty in iraq and
afghanistan, there are so many problems facing this incumbent. if you want that incumbent to win, you work as early and as fast as possible to soften up that eventual opponent. and that's exactly what they're doing here with that ad. >> but when i watch that ad, someone has to tell me that democrats made that ad. because it just looks like the latest entry in the republican primary. if you're rick perry, the great news of the week is what's happening to herman cain and that ad. >> i think this is unusual. i don't recall a republican pack interjecting itself into the democratic party's nomination process in 2008. there is a lot of concern and recognition, quite frankly that, the president is vulnerable for all the reasons i just mentioned. what they can do is put out an ad that clobbers mit romney and
softens him up for the general and maybe not hurt him in the primary but hurt him enough that he comes hobbling over to president obama in the first debate, so be it. i think that's their point of view. >> approval rating has gone from 41% to the beginning of october to 47% now. disapproval has dropped from 55 to 49. the matchup of president obama versus mitt romney basically the same was 46/42 in the president's favor. now it's 47-42 in the president's favor. he has bigger leads over the other potential republican candidates. so the numbers right now are stabilizing or inching in directions that are good for the president. >> the president's numbers -- again, for all the reasons that i just enumerated before, high unemployment, economic unr uncertainty, the president is
sitting at 46% approval is astounding. it's remarkable. in a good way. it shows that, you know, this new tact that the president has taken since september 8th in the joint session of congress going right after congress, the do-nothing congress is working. finally, he looks like he is fighting for the american people. that's what they've been demanding from this president. >> thank you very much, jonathan, for joining me tonight. >> thanked, lawrence. >> coming up, occupy oakland protesters stopped the flow of goods at the nation's fifth busiest port. next, crazy republicans have gone from demanding to see the president's dirnlg certificate to see his college grades. why have they never demanded that of any other president? what is it about president obama that provokes them, that makes them to want to suddenly demand academic credentials. what is so different about president obama? just what could that be? i don't know.
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look, i haven't seen his grades. my grades ended up on the front page of the newspaper. so if we're going to show stuff, let's show stuff. >> time for tonight's "rewrite." herman cain made his way to various meetings with congress dodging reporters' questions about sexual harassment every step of the way. texas republican congressman michael burgess put out the welcome mat for herman cain and said this to reporters about the sexual harassment story -- "you guys are going to vet this and i have every belief you're going to look into this as carefully as you looked into
president obama's college grades." burgess then proceeded with his meeting from herman cain wherein he completely forgot to demand herman cain's college grades. looney right-wing republicans have we written their demand to get their hands on the president's report cards number republican has ever asked to see a president's report card before, not once. they've never asked it of republican presidents. they've never asked it of democratic presidents. what is it about this president that provokes this first time in history demand, let me see your college grades. what is it? what is it about this guy? they didn't ask it of have guy. or this guy. or this guy.
no. and they didn't ask it of this guy. or this guy. what, just what so different about this guy. what is so different about him? i just don't get it. i can look at these pictures of all of the president's all day and i just can't figure out what is so different about president obama? i just look at that picture. what is it? you know this is actually a game that democrats just might want to play. i mean i, for one, would have no problem on academic credentials. if we did, this guy, an undistinguished graduate of eureka college could never take the presidency away from this guy who graduated with distinction from the united states naval academy in the top
10% of his class. he was then commissioned in the u.s. navy. went on to work in the navy's knewly formed nuclear submarine program as a lieutenant. and this guy, a graduate of columbia university and harvard law school and president of the distinguished harvard law review would have never even needed to campaign against this guy who like his father and grandfather before him got a political appointment to the united states' naval academy in annapolis and graduated at the very bottom of his class, 894 out of 899 graduating mid shipmen look, every day we're using more and more energy.
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all day to day thousands of occupy wall street protesters are on the country from new york city to philadelphia to oakland marched in solidarity all leading up to this moment tonight. you are looking at pictures from oakland tonight. an estimated 10,000 protesters forced management to shut down operations for the night shift. the garnlging at the port is the culmination of a day of protests labelled general strike. protesters say the port is a major point of entry for chinese exports and employers at the ports' main office were sent home early today and city officials also forced downtown businesses to close early in anticipation of the protesters. so far, there is no word on arrests in oakland. there was little police presence earlier in the day as 4500 occupy oakland demonstrators
marched on big corporations and banks in the area like this chase branch. joining me now from the occupy oakland headquarters, a journalism graduate student at uc berkeley and reporter for the oakland north news site. thank you for joining me tonight. >> hi. >> there is going to be a satellite delay. and it's going to feel like very, very long distance phone call here. we'll put up with it. what is the feeling in oakland tonight? is there -- is it a peaceful atmosphere? is there a sense of more possible clashes with police? >> reporter: it doesn't seem that way. i mean the most of the day was pretty peaceful. you know, there is very minimal police presence. we barely saw any police out on the streets today. maybe on the perimeter about six cops on motorcycles kind of just guarding and patrolling here and there. but really no police on the
streets. until now. there are paramedics going this way. i'm sorry. >> don't worry about it. we can hear you. >> so it's very minimal police presence out here. looks very peaceful. there were 5,000 people and we were at the port earlier:they're joined by even more thousands that left from the plaza at 7:30, about a half hour ago. so the nubmbers are large. >> there seems to be growing stress between the mayor and the police in oakland. the police officers association released an open letter saying "we, too, are the 99%. as your police officers, we are confused. aren't the mayor and her administration part of the establishment they are paying city employees to protest. is it the city's intention to have employees on both sides of
the skirmish line?" ? what is that all about? >> we're still looking into that. that's definitely the tensions between the city council and the police, seeming to something on our radar as press based here in oakland. you know, one of our chief of police anthony bats resigned a few weeks ago and so there is a lot of questions that are circulating what's going on really behind closed doors between city council and the police establishment going on right now. so that is something we're still looking into. >> thank you very much for joining us tonight. >> reporter: thank you. >> you can have the last word online at our blog. you can follow my tweets. "t "the ed show" is up next.